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DREDGE has players taking on the role of a fisherman who is heading towards the location of his new job in this single-player fishing adventure title. The sea seems calm as you navigate toward the island of Greater Marrow. Things suddenly take a turn for the worse as a veil of thick fog rolls in, clouding your visibility to the point where you don’t see the massive rocks in your path. Your ship smashes into the rocks, totally destroying your vessel. Fortunately, you wake up cold and wet on the dock of your destination. Upon awakening, the Mayor of Greater Marrow informs you that your boat was “hopelessly damaged” but the locals moved your stuff to one of the town's old vessels. He is anxious to get you out fishing, so he gives you one of the old boats so you can go out and catch some fish. 

DREDGE shiploan

One of the most important things you will learn is how to undock the boat, you will have to do this each time you want to go out fishing, then when you are finished you will have to dock it which is quite easy as you just have to move close to the dock and hit the button. Once you are on the water, your left thumbstick controls where the boat goes, and the right moves the camera. While out on the boat, you will want to keep an eye out for spots on the water that are bubbling. These are the spots where you can drop your line and go fishing. To catch the fish in that spot you will have to play a mini-game for each one. These mini-games involve hitting the X button when the moving line passes over the green area. Successfully do this and you will have caught the fish, now the fun part is fitting your catch into your storage, this feels like a Tetris-style game where you will have to rotate all the pieces to fit. Once your cargo is full, or if it is getting dark out, head back to the dock and speak with the Fishmonger. He will buy your fish from you, paying more if it’s a larger size and depending on how fresh it is — which makes sense because who would want to pay more for stale or rotting fish? 

DREDGE cargofit

The Mayor makes a deal with you, he will give you the boat that you are using, taking a tiny portion of your fish sales until it is paid off — with interest to improve the town of course. Luckily, the boat isn’t very expensive at all so it won’t take long until it is paid off and the boat is yours. Instead, you can put your money towards upgrading all the equipment you need, like fishing rods, nets, engines, or dredges. There may also be times when you need to repair your boat if you happen to hit the rocks again, or if a mysterious creature happens to ram into you; fortunately, the Shipwright can fix up your vessel but payment is upfront. There are multiple things that can be damaged or broken on the ship including your lights, the screen that you use to play the mini-game to catch fish, or your crab pots. If these items break, be sure to get them fixed as soon as you can because they all affect how successful your expedition will be. Remember the village is depending on you to provide sustenance for them.

DREDGE specialorder

While you are out trying to catch fish, once in a while you come across Corrupted Fish. You can instantly tell when you catch one of these because they look creepy and bizarre. When you catch one of these grotesque fish, the Fishmonger gets excited and pulls out his knife slicing into it, inside this fish is a red handkerchief. When you return to the boat you see a man peering at you through the boat's cabin window, he knows what you took to the Fishmonger. He informs you that the handkerchief is from a ship that had sunk years ago — he wants you to find the other lost items from this sunken ship; a necklace, ring, watch, key, and a music box. In return, he equips your boat with equipment that allows you to dredge the wrecks and the dark depths. The collector will handsomely reward you for all the relics you return to him.

DREDGE collector

There is a lot to do in DREDGE other than just relaxing and fishing. Once you get the right equipment you can go and search shipwrecks to find supplies like wood boards, cloth, and metal scraps that will be used to add extra space to your vessel, strengthen your hull, or create more equipment attachment points, once you have the Dry Dock unlocked. The shipwright informs you that once you have all the needed supplies for an upgrade, it will also cost you some money, and it will take time to complete. There are multiple Pursuits for you to try to complete like finding supplies for the builder, filling orders for fish, or tracking down a certain item for a grieving father who lost his son at sea. As you speak to more people, the task you are given is added to your list of things to do.

DREDGE upgrades

So far I’ve been making DREDGE sound like a relaxing fishing game, but there is definitely something sinister going on here. If you happen to stay out fishing too late when it gets darker out, you will see what I mean. Glowing eyes staring at you, unknown creatures swimming through the water, and thick fog obscuring your view are only a couple of the things you see at first. But don’t worry, according to the Mayor, there is nothing going on here, you just need to sleep more! Sleeping more will reset your panic levels, but it’s clear that he is hiding something, and as you progress in the game you will learn more about mysterious events that have plagued these islands. I will warn you to keep an eye on the clock, if you aren’t going after fish that only come out at night, try to sleep at night. The visibility late at night is really bad, so make sure to turn on the light on your vessel and upgrade the bulb to the brighter option as soon as you can. This will help you avoid crashing your boats into the rocks and cliffs hidden in the dark, but it will also make you visible to the monsters hidden in the sea. I quite enjoyed exploring the seas at night, Black Salt Games has done a great job delivering a creepy game full of mystery and horror that reminds me of disturbing Lovecraft stories I read as a teen. Slithering stowaways and corrupted seagulls with red eyes stealing the fish that I caught always get my heart pounding. 

DREDGE seagulls

DREDGE has a unique art style that looks painterly in the introduction and when you are talking to people around the island. When you are out fishing, you can see all the waves on the surface of the water and the fishing spots where all the fish are swimming around waiting to be caught. At night you see colourful lights and visions of other ships sailing the seas with you. The fish you catch look like the species they are meant to represent unless you collect one of the corrupted ones — they just look freaky and something from your nightmares. The music helps create the perfect atmosphere for the game. During the day it feels calming and relaxing, but as soon as the sun goes down it feels more unsettling and dark like something will jump out at you from the dark at any moment. 

DREDGE fishmonger

Developer Black Salt Games has created a mysterious game that is full of horror and is just downright creepy. DREDGE is a lot different than your typical fishing fare, this role-playing, survival game has multiple storylines that come together to deliver an interesting experience that is hard to put down. The cast of characters is interesting and they feel like they have a real story unlike your traditional NPC you would come across, they feel like they are just trying to survive the events occurring here. If you are a fan of the creepy tales from H.P. Lovecraft, you are sure to have an enjoyable time playing DREDGE as I have.

DREDGE night

9.00/10 9

DREDGE (Reviewed on Windows)

Excellent. Look out for this one.

DREDGE is the perfect mix of an RPG, fishing, puzzle, and survival game. It combines all these elements with an interesting and creepy story that evokes feelings of horror from an H.P. Lovecraft tale. This is a must-play title, especially if you want something more unique to try out.

This game was supplied by the publisher or relevant PR company for the purposes of review
Alana Dunitz

Alana Dunitz

Staff Writer

Lover of all games, old and new!

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